SUBJECT POLICY

LLC: ENGLISH

 

1) INTRODUCTION:

 

This subject policy serves to inform all educators in the department the needs for the smooth functioning of the department. The policy does not attempt to stifle any educator’s initiative or creativity, instead it’s an attempt to ensure that a uniform approach to the teaching of the subject is adopted.

 

2) COMMENTS CONCERNING THIS SUBJECT POLICY AND ITS FUNCTION:

 

This subject policy:

 

·        serves as a guide for educators with regard to the teaching and administration of the 

     Subject.

·        tries to be flexible and leave scope for the initiative of individual educators. It is intended to encourage innovation and to this end needs regular revision so as to reflect  changing practice at the school and in the Gauteng Department Of  Education.

 

·        helps to ensure that the general aims and the specific objectives of the subject ,as well  as the methodology employed teaching the subject ,are consistently implemented by all educators of the subject.

 

·        ensures that learners receive  consistent tuition in the subject from year to year and from grade to grade

 

·        must be integrated with the overall policy of the school and the education department

 

·        must be copied and be in the possession of each educator in the department.

 

 

 

 

 

3) THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF TEACHING LLC:ENGLISH :

 

The aims and objectives of teaching a subject are of primary importance and educators should study them and be familiar with them so that they can continuously apply them to their teaching of the subject(s).

 

The aims and objectives of teaching LLC:English are set out in the syllabus of the subject.

 

4) DOCUMENTATION :

 

4.1) The master subject file :

 

This is kept up to date by the HOD (subject controller) responsible for the subject. It should include reference to all the documentation concerning the subject and could include :

 

-         division of work for the subject.

-         personal subject time tables.

-         the subject policy with amendments.

-         the syllabi for the various subjects and grades.

-         the schemes of work for the subject and various grades.

-         the minutes of appropriate subject meetings

-         references to study guides available in the media centre.

-         references to subject material available in the media centre

-         subject reports written by the HOD (subject controller)

-         work reports

-     the duties of the teachers within the subject committee.

-         any other relevant documentation .

 

4.2) The subject file:

 

This file should be kept in the possession of the subject educators, who are also responsible for keeping it up to date. If in the case where the subject is split between 2 or more teachers, then 1 teacher should be responsible for keeping it.

 

This file should only contain documentation essential for the organization and administration of the subject.

 

 

The following list of contents is suggested :

·        educator’s personal timetable

·        subject policy

·        relevant syllabi

·        relevant scheme(s) of work

·        class lists indicating pupils marks[ if markbook is not used]

·        a reading control form

·        relevant year plans and records of work

·        minutes of subject meetings

·        relevant lesson planning (if this is not kept with lesson preparation)

·        extracts from manuals and circulars (pertaining to relevant subject)

 

With the implementation of Outcomes Based Education in grade 7 and all future grades, the files contents should consist of:

·        educators personal timetable

·        subject policy

·        interim syllabus

·        class lists indicating pupils marks[ if markbook is not used]

·        a reading control form

·        daily or weekly planning sheet

·        assessment criteria

·        assessment records

·        minutes of subject meetings

·        extracts from manuals and circulars (pertaining to relevant subject)

·        grid planning showing the SO’s and AC’s to be covered

 

 

4.3) The filing of teacher guides and workshop handouts:

 

 Teacher guides and workshop handouts should be filed in the educators’ reference collection of the media centre.

All educators should be aware of the contents of the teacher guides and workshop handouts. To ensure this newly received teacher guides should be discussed at subject meetings. Educators who attend courses (workshops) should also give a detailed report back of workshop handouts at a subject meeting.

The HOD (subject controller) should be responsible for keeping files of teacher guides and workshops up to date. The media centre educator should help him/her with this task.

 

 

4.4) The administrative file:

 

The HOD (subject controller) should be responsible for keeping these files up to date with the help of the school secretary.

The HOD (subject controller) should carry the responsibility for equipping and stocking any classrooms  used for teaching LLC:English.

 

5) PLANNING FOR THE YEAR AHEAD AND THE RECORD OF WORK :

 

It seems sensible that planning should be done at the beginning of the year for the whole year. Such planning should be adhered too as far as possible,to ensure that the syllabus is completed satisfactorily.

 

It should be the responsibility of every subject educator to ensure that the record of work is kept up to date. A regular comparison of target dates on the year plan with the dates indicating work completed on the record of work, will help ensure that educators do not get behind with the syllabus.

 

6) LESSON PLANNING AND PREPARATION :

 

It is important for all educators to plan the presentation of their lessons. This is especially necessary for lessons that include practical work. Educators should ensure that their knowledge of the subject content is sufficient to enable them to present their lesson with confidence. This is accomplished by preparing lessons thoroughly.

 

All planning and preparation should be purposeful and functional.

 

6.1) The lesson plan:

 

The lesson plan could outline ,amongst others :

-         the outcomes of the lesson. (these should be stated in operational terms)

-         the course of the lesson (a sequential list of activities)

-         pupil learning activities

-         recap of the lesson

-         references (e.g. Articles that can the educator additional background knowledge)

-         requirements for a follow up lesson

-         relevant remarks ,when applicable (EG. What problems arose during the lesson and how the lesson can be improved-these could be written on the form against the relevant heading)

 

The same completed lesson planning form can be used from year to year. However, appropriate amendments should be made after a lesson in the light of the experiences during the lesson.

 

6.2) Preparation :

 

Preparation consists of all the activities that an educator undertakes in order to be able to present the subject successfully. This could include , amongst other activities :

 

·        studying material in order to master the subject content

·        selecting questions from textbook exercises

·        writing instructions or summaries on the chalkboard

·        selecting books/pictures/slides/videos from the media centre

·        preparing overhead transparencies

·        setting up apparatus /teaching aids , (REMEMBER MURPHY’s LAW !!!!!)

·        collecting specimens/examples

·        previewing videos

·        preparing various worksheets, work cards , notes, etc.

·        planning homework

·        setting a class test or examination

·        preparing a memorandum for a test or examination.

 

 

Preparation is the private concern of the educator and will not normally be scrutinized. However ,if a problem arises with the presentation of the subject, or even with the presentation of a lesson, it is in the educator’s best interest to be able to voluntarily submit relevant preparation to the HOD.

 

In order to save time and work, educators should organize all the material they use for the presentation of the subject according to some method that will make retrieval of, and amendments to information easy to accomplish. To this end ,separate files can be kept ,for example, of:

·        tests and examination together with the relevant memoranda

·        lesson preparation

·        recording of written tests and oral presentations

·        recording of the various forms of assessment

 

 

 

7) THE ALLOCATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF PERIODS:

 

Refer to the following table . Each period is forth five minutes long.

 

 

GRADE

NUMBER OF

ENGLISH PERIODS PER WEEK

4

9

5

9

6

9

7

5

 

Refer to the following table. Each grade divides it’s subjects into the various phases of LLC:English teaching[this will change as the implementation of OBE is phased into the various grades]

 

GRADE

PERIODS

SECTION

GRADE

PERIODS

SECTION

4

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

 

GRADE

PERIODS

SECTION

GRADE

PERIODS

SECTION

6

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

The above allocation is subject to change from year to year.  

 

8) SUBJECT MEETINGS:

 

Subject meetings are crucial to staff development and should be given appropriate emphasis. Subject meetings can be held once a term. However, most important is that they should be held when needed. They should be primarily aimed at in service training. In this department this also implies not only work on subject didactics but also on the mastery of the subject content.

 

The first departmental meeting of the year is especially important. During this meeting the HOD (subject controller) must, amongst other things :

·        welcome new educators of the subject to the school

·        acquaint new colleagues with methods used, subject policy and requirements

·        division of workload (subject  as well as grade distribution )

·        exam and test requirements and weightings

·        look at the program organisers and the assessment criteria to be used

·        lesson preparation

·        continuous assessment strategies

·        evaluation of previous years  results

·        a brainstorming session on all possible activities that can be carried out for the year

 

All educators should meet with other educators of the same subject at different institutions from time to time. Such contact can be of great value to educators and can take place under the auspices of the local subject facilitator. Interaction between high and primary school educators can also be of great value, especially for the grade 7 teacher.

 

9) WORK REPORTS BY THE HOD (SUBJECT CONTROLLER):

 

9.1) The purpose of such a report :

 

The aim of the work report prepared by the HOD (subject controller) on the work of the subject educators is to :

-         acknowledge and give due credit for good work ;

-         develop further the expertise of these educators

 

9.2) The contents :

Such a report should make reference to, amongst other things :

·        progress through the syllabus or modules

·        the standard of learners’ written work, quantity and quality.

·        the standard of  the learners’ practical work, quantity and quality

·        the state ,organization, purposefulness and use of documentation

·        the implementation of subject curricular principles and guidelines on differentiation and enrichment

·        control of work ,marking and correction of work

·        classroom /subject  atmosphere

·        the condition of the classroom ,furniture and storerooms

·        the condition, care and use of media aids

 

9.3) Confidentiality :

 

This report is a confidential  document and is discussed by the HOD (subject controller) with the educator concerned. The educator should sign the report. However, by signing it does not mean that the educator is in agreement with the contents of the report. The educator should be allowed to list any discrepancies  found in the report if such discrepancies are found. A copy of this report should be filed in the educator’s personal file.

 

9.4) Frequency :

 

The number of reports prepared for any one educator will depend on the educator’s experience, ability and standard of work. Normally the number of reports per educator per year would vary from 1 to 4.

 

9.5) Classroom visits:

 

The HOD (subject controller) will undertake to have a minimum of one classroom visit per educator per term. However, depending on the seniority, ability and standard of work the educator concerned, the HOD(subject controller) may restrict the number of classroom visits to one visit per academic year per educator. The purpose of a classroom visit is to assist an educator develop. It is not a faultfinding exercise !

 

9.6) Preparing a work report :

 

In order to prepare a work report the HOD(subject controller)  would ideally go through  a sample of the learner’s books in the educator’s classroom . A report would then be written after assessing a lesson. The contents of the report would be discussed with the educator.

 

10) THE PRESENTATION OF THE LESSON :

 

Ideally every  LLC:English lesson should :

-         produce positive attitudes

-         teach processing skills

-         develop the depth and breadth of understanding by extending the learner’s understanding of language skills & concepts

-         relate new knowledge to the everyday world of the learner.

 

 

 

10.1) Attitudes and approaches :

 

The single most important task of all educators is to develop positive, but realistic, attitudes-not only towards the subject areas covered by this department – but also towards processes used in these subjects. Specifically , educators need to promote positive attitudes with respect to the willingness of learners to :

-         think for themselves

-         collect and use evidence (data)

-         change ideas in the light of evidence

-         review procedures critically

-         apply knowledge and skills to everyday life.

 

LLC:English  educators need to motivate their learners with their own enthusiasm since attitudes  are as much caught as taught !

 

10.2) Process skills :

 

Learners should be encouraged to participate actively in investigations as far as possible. Too much of emphasis on factual knowledge should not be encouraged instead a more hands on type approach should be advocated.

 

It becomes necessary to teach the following process skills :

·        hypothesizing

·        observing

·        explaining

·        predicting

·        posing problems

·        raising questions

·        investigating

·        communicating

·        designing , applying and linking with technology.[emphasis placed by OBE]

 

It is also important to teach learners how to carry out an investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

10.3) Content and concepts:

LLC:English  

 

Learners try to understand new material in terms of the concepts or ideas they already have. This implies that the concepts that a learner has, have to be modified , as they are never learned from scratch. In short, misconceptions need to be identified and corrected. In addition to encountering content during their lessons learners should be encouraged to develop they’re understanding of concepts by broadening their area of applicability and increasing their level of abstraction.

 

 

Concepts develop by being checked against evidence from new experience. The checking involves the processes of observing, explaining, predicting and investigating, in fact, the process skills referred to above.

 

Educators should be aware of the changing nature of LLC: English and not to teach this subject as a body of unalterable facts.  

 

10.4) Helping learners develop concepts :

The implications of the above paragraph for educators wishing to help learners develop concepts is that educators should , as far as possible :

 

·        be aware of what learners understand about the important concepts they are to teach 

      before they teach them

·        regularly expose learners to an event or phenomenon that requires that the learners use   

      their own ideas to interpret and understand

·        frequently provide opportunities for learners to tell them what they really think about

      an event or phenomenon, in other words to explain;

·        listen to (or read) learners’ answers and try to work out precisely what the learners mean

·        allow learners to work in groups , thus providing them with the maximum opportunity to express and explain their own ideas.

 

To achieve the above in large classes , it is essential to let learners discuss the answers to application type questions in groups. Also ask learners to give explanations for their answers orally or in writing, as circumstances permit.

 

10.5) A suggested sequence of activities for a lesson:

The suggested sequence of activities in the table below is meant only as a guideline. These suggestions serve as an example of how an educator could structure a lesson to incorporate the ideas outlined above. Naturally not all six of the components tabulated below need necessarily be part of any one lesson.

 

 

Lesson Component

a)

Control & correction of previous work.

b)

Revision /Introduction

c)

The focal activity of the lesson

d)

Pupil feedback & Consolidation

e)

Independent pupil written work: Application exercise

f)

Enrichment

 

 

 

10.6) Educator activities concerned with lesson presentation:

 

During lessons it will probably be necessary for educators to do one or more of the following:

-         pose a problem

-         ask a focus question or revision questions, using previous knowledge

-         give instructions(clear, concise and unambiguous) concerning practical work

-         ask questions that will need pupils to focus their thinking on a specific point

-         give exercise questions to reinforce new concepts

-         give instructions concerning integration of media

-         give enrichment exercises

 

10.7) Learner activities during lesson presentation:

 

During lessons it will probably be required that each learner should do one or more of the following:

-         answer revision questions (preferably in writing, in rough, in the back of the exercise book or in a jotter) that are marked by the learners as soon as consensus is reached concerning the correct answer;

-         carry out instructions that lead to the successful conclusion of work

-          organize data & facts

-          predict

-         investigate

-         explain

-         work out exercises that reinforce new concepts

-         use relevant reference books and other media

-         carry out tasks ,or answer questions ,in which newly acquired knowledge is applied.

 

11) WORKSHEETS,LEARNERS’ WRITTEN WORK AND EXERCISE BOOKS:

 

11.1) The use of worksheets or notes :

 

In order to structure such a wide variety of activities educators may prepare “worksheets” or “notes”. All instructions and questions may be combined on such a handout. They may leave space for learners to answer questions on the handout. They may either provide the learners with individual pages as needed, or with all the pages for the year, often in the form of a book. This is an acceptable method although it is expensive.   Worksheets can also take away all the opportunities for learners to take and show any initiative, unless they are prepared with great care.

 

Educators may keep sets of such “worksheets” in plastic envelopes and put them out for groups to use during lessons. These can be collected after the lesson and used from year to year.

 

 

11.2) Learner’s written work: Books required *

            PREF. USE FILES

GRADE

BOOK

PURPOSE

4

A4-72pgs

 

5

 A4-72pgs

 

 

6

 A4-72pgs[4]

 

 

7

 A4-72pgs[2]

 

 

 

 * SUBJECT TO CHANGE AS OBE IS IMPLEMENTED

 

 

 

 

 

11.3)       Projects:

These

·        should be short and to the point

·        should not involve more than minor expense

·        should preferably involve some sort of investigation

·        should not require more than two homework sessions

·        should contribute to developing positive attitudes towards the subject , as well as consolidating concepts and reinforcing processing skills

·        should not be overdone- once  a year is probably adequate, depending on the type of project

·        should involve the application of a principle  learned during lessons

·        should emphasize a hands-on approach

·        may involve the preparation of charts, the best of which should be displayed in the classroom.

·        must be fairly and adequately assessed

 

Learners should be encouraged to undertake investigations (or even explorations), on a voluntarily basis, for external assessment at competitions like the Speech Contests. The school and the LLC:English Department within the school should give learners entering such competitions suitable recognition.

 

12) CONTROL, MARKING AND CORRECTION OF WRITTEN WORK:

 

It is reasonable to expect educators to know about the academic progress of the learners they teach. Correct answers, summaries should be displayed on the chalkboard or transparency so that learners can correct their own work from the correct answers. The educator’s responsibility is to be aware of learners who are not doing their work, or whose work is of an unsatisfactory standard. The educator must also be aware of learners who are not marking or correcting their work.

 

While learners are busy with class work the educator should move around and initial and date books, indicating to the parent that the work has been controlled.

 

It is a good idea to summarize this procedure and to get learners to paste the summary into the front cover of their exercise books for the information of the parents.

 

13) DIFFERENTIATION:

 

Educators should cater for the differing abilities of their learners by means of the:

 

-          oral questions they put to their learners during the lessons

-          standard of oral answers they accept from the learners

-          instructions given to different learners

-          questions expected to be answered by different learners in their books

-          enrichment questions and instructions that they give their learners – including those for media integration

-          skills they require of their learners during practical work

-          questions set in tests.

Educators should remember that differentiation does not only mean simplifying for the slower learner, but also providing enrichment for the brighter learner.

 

14) HOMEWORK :

Homework is given to consolidate concepts taught and learned during the class period. Homework should be easy and should never introduce new concepts. All homework should be meaningful.

 

Homework is given for a specific purpose. It is not necessary to give after every period.

The following is a suggested time allocation for homework to be given to the learner in the various grades.

GRADE

SUBJECT

TIME

4-5

 

15 min.

15 min

6

 

25 min

20 min

7

 

30 min

30 min

 

 

ALL HOMEWORK SHOULD BE PLANNED AND CONTROLLED.

 

15) ASSESSMENT:

 

15.1) Introductory remarks:

 

The main purpose of assessment is to determine the extent to which learners have attained the objectives of the lesson. This implies that teaching and evaluation must complement each other. The method of instruction should be determined bearing in mind the method of evaluation.

 

Assessment is also used to

 

·        determine areas of weakness in the learners’ knowledge and understanding of concepts, in order to remedy them

·        motivate  and encourage learners so that they reach their full potential.

 

Tests and examinations , as well as any other methods of assessment used, should be motivational. This implies that learners should be successful in tests and examinations. At the same time , the standard of learner’s work , the level of its assessment ,should increase steadily throughout the year. In this way assessment of learners , by the end of the year , should be able to distinguish between those who will be able to cope with the demands of the next grade and those who will not !

 

15.2) Continuous assessment :

 

The primary aim of continuous assessment is to monitor a learner’s progress in the different components of the teaching and learning programme.

 

The subject educator must keep a record of assessment, which serves as a basis for promoting a learner to the next grade. This record could consist of:

 

·        the assessment of a learner’s regular independent written work and assignments based on knowledge, understanding of concepts and skills acquired;

·        the assessment of a learner’s involvement in the learning situation as shown by  attitudes, knowledge, understanding and process skills ;

·         the results obtained by a learner for  diagnostic tests

 

All testing should be diagnostic. However, by diagnostic tests is meant short tests for + 10 minutes specifically set to determine the level and quality of a learner’s development of concepts and understanding, with a view to solving identified individual learner’s difficulties.

 

15.3) The allocation of marks:

 

The allocation of marks (weighting of the components; independent written work, practical work/investigations; diagnostic tests; formal tests and examinations) may be done as follows.

 

Check english file admin folder

 

 

 

Grades

4

5

6

7

Maximum Marks

 

 

 

 

Independent written work

 

 

 

 

Practical work/investigations

 

 

 

 

Diagnostic tests

 

 

 

 

Formal tests and/or examinations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grades

4

5

6

7

Maximum mark

100

100

100

100

Friday tests/class tests

50

50

50

50

Formal tests/examinations

100

100

100

100

 

This suggested mark allocation may be modified, should the need arise.

Refer to the syllabus of your respective subjects to ascertain the frequency, duration of tests and examinations.

 

 

15.4) The assessment of orals. (Continuous as well as formal)

 

The following should be assessed:

 

 

15.5) Diagnostic tests,formal tests and examinations

Diagnostic tests, formal tests and examinations should attempt to assess :

 

·        understanding of relevant basic concepts. (In order to test this,questions should require of pupils that they apply the concepts. Learners can also be asked to explain their answers)

·        mastery of relevant scientific terminology by asking learners to use their own words to describe what they understand by a term

·        the ability to use the different language skills and applications to apply them in order to explain everyday phenomena

·        problem solving skills

·        the ability to arrange and analyze data and make deductions

 

Test/examination papers with detailed memorandums should always be available at the school.

 

The HOD (subject controller) should always moderate Test/examination papers.

 

15.6) Record of assessment

 

The completed record of assessment should always be available at the school.

 

16) OUTINGS AND EDUCATIONAL TOURS.

Excursions are very important in the holistic development of the child.

 However careful planning is vital to the educational success of such an undertaking. The trip must be made relevant to the learners and the work they are doing at school. Learners should undertake suitable preparation and follow-up activities. It is essential that educators go on the visit before hand. They (i.e. educators) should inform the officials of the place to be visited, of both the school’s and the learners’ requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

No.

TOPIC

Page

1

Introductory remarks

 

2

Comments concerning this subject policy and its function

 

3

The aims and objectives of teaching LLC:English

 

4

Documentation

 

5

Planning for the year and the record of work

 

6

Lesson planning and preparation

 

7

The allocation and distribution of periods

 

8

Subject meetings

 

9

Work reports by the HOD(subject controller)

 

10

The presentation of a lesson

 

11

Worksheets, learners’ written work and exercise books

 

12

Control, marking and correction of written work

 

13

Differentiation

 

14

Homework

 

15

Assessment

 

16

Outings and educational tours

 

17

References